The good news is you don’t need to panic-buy six weeks’ of groceries. You can still exercise outdoors, see an “intimate partner” who doesn’t live with you, and drop your kids with your ex as per your current co-parenting arrangements. Also, if you need to quarantine yourself because of possible Covid-19 infection, you might be eligible for a government payment to cover your expenses.
They’re the highlights. But they do come with a few caveats. Let’s take a closer look.
Stage 4 is in place in Metropolitan Melbourne from 6pm 02/08.
Stage 3 is in place in Regional Vic, including Mitchell Shore from 11:59pm 05/08.
Call mum and dad because curfews are back! From 8pm to 5am every evening, you’re unable to leave your home. Unless you need to work or you need to receive or provide care/medical attention. That means no late-night 7/11 runs for Doritos or choccie, so plan your snack attack accordingly.
Does reduced human contact leave you feeling, well, isolated? Ironically perhaps, you’re not alone. If you, or someone in your household needs some extra support during lockdown, contact beyondblue on 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.
You can leave your home as far as 5km for the following reasons:
• To shop: for food and supplies. Only one person from the household can go out at any one time. We suggest alternating days with your flatmates, so you all get a chance at some solitude in the milk aisle.
• To exercise: You’re still allowed to exercise with one other person so take advantage of your flatmates, friends or family members who live in your area. Marathon runners will need to hone it in as you can only exercise outside once a day for an hour MAX. If that just ain’t enough exercise for your gym junkie flatmate, lounge-room workouts will become your best friend.
You’re still allowed to move house during lockdown. Now could be the perfect time to find your dream house. Curfew hours still apply.
• To see your partner: even if they live more than 5km away. This is a big one for our community as many sharers don’t live with their partners. Unfortunately, this isn’t your Tinder Bae and your Hinge hookup. We know you’re lonely but putting your, your hook-up’s and your flatmate’s lives in danger for 2 mins in heaven AINT WORTH IT (I mean was it ever really?)
On visiting partners, its really important you discuss with flatmates and make sure they are comfortable with your SO coming over during this time. Public transport has been limited so check the new timetables so you don’t get stuck.
• To handle shared parenting arrangements: You can still visit your ex and share your usual coparenting responsibilities.
• To provide care: for compassionate reasons or to seek medical treatment. If your furry friend is unwell, you can take them to the vet and you can take them outside multiple times a day for a wee.
• To work: if you can’t do it from home. If that sounds like you, keep in mind that the government has ordered thousands more businesses to close, so your boss will probably be in touch if your working conditions have changed.
Everyone in Melbourne (and, in fact, the whole state) must wear a mask when they leave home. No ifs, no buts, no maybes. Mask it, Melburnians!
Check online for hundreds of tutorials on hand-making masks. You can use everything from tea-towels to socks. You’ll need a few, as you need to wash each mask after use and we all know how long it takes to dry wet clothes in Melbourne’s winter.
If you suspect for any reason that you might have Covid-19, get tested. It should go without saying, but:
• wear a mask
• don’t stop anywhere on your way to or from the testing centre: go straight there and straight home
• don’t leave the house again until you get your results.
The government has introduced a range of payments to supplement your income if you’ve been tested for COVID-19 and your work as no sick leave available. So if you test positive, the time off work shouldn’t break the bank.
After you get tested, you’ll need to self-isolate at home. That means no contact with your housemates, so word them up in advance and make sure you’re all clear on how things like meals and bathroom disinfecting will work while you’re waiting for your results.
Every cloud has a silver lining, and perhaps this is it: your friends and family outside Melbourne will be able to sympathise with your situation, since they will enter Stage 3 restrictions this Wednesday. It’s not Stage 4, but at least you can feel some solidarity with your country cousins (and vice versa).
Phone a friend. Literally! Most of us have friends or family outside the metro area. Give them a call to plead for sympathy, or live vicariously through their slightly less-restricted tales of adventure (they can still travel more than 5km, after all).
Hang in there Melbourne! These are trying times, so check in on your mates, your fam and your flatmates. We’ve got this. If you need some inspo for some fun things to do in lockdown checkout out our guide here.